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5 min read

HeroConf 2016: The Facebook Conversion Conundrum

This article was updated on: 07.02.2022

Kenia Gonzalez & Zoran Selinger at PPC Hero Conference

66% of Facebook users use the platform every day, this equates to 1.1bn daily active users. Each of these users spends an average of 50 minutes a day across Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. This isn’t just people using a platform for browsing, these are social media addicts!

However, if you’re running social campaigns alongside AdWords and email then it’s highly likely poor ol’ Facebook compares pretty poorly (in terms of conversions at least) in almost every attribution model going.

So here comes the Facebook marketers big question… how do I not only reach users on Facebook, but actually get them to convert?


So let’s cut to the chase, how do Kenia & Zoran propose we solve to Facebook Conversion Conundrum?

This talk was all about audiences. The big message being, to avoid wasting your budget you need to focus on your audience.

Kind of common sense, right? But it get’s a little more technical than this…

The speakers propose a funnel that looks like this;

The 4-Step Facebook Conversion Funnel; Awareness > Interest > Action > Loyalty

Start collecting your audiences from the very beginning using website custom audiences (there’s a nifty Google Chrome extension called Facebook Pixel Helper that can help you out with this). Take note of these tips for customer audiences;

  1. If your website has lots of potentially different audiences then ensure you segment your custom audience based on the pages they visit. Those looking at pages designer underwear may not also be interested in children’s toys.
  2. Create a converters audience. These people are more likely to convert again.
  3. If you have a product you’re only going to sell to a user once, create them as a custom audience so you can exclude them from future ads for that product.
  4. If you’re tracking video viewers, only count people who viewed 75% of your video or complete viewers (the default is just 3 seconds of viewing – most users could do this by accident!)


So let’s go back to that 4-step funnel and think about how we apply these great new custom audiences.

Awareness Stage

Who? Use what you already know about your products and customers to target them with interest targeting and use lookalikes.

What? Video is a powerful tool for these top of funnel users. Reach is high and it’s cheap!


Interest Stage

Who? Website visitors and video viewers from your initial campaign.

What? Target these users with a clickable ad and a more overt call to action.


Action Stage

Who? Cart abandoners or those who spent a significant amount of time on your site.

What? Lead Generation ads to get them on your mailing list or an ad containing a special offer to lure them all the way to checkout.


Loyalty Stage

Who? Existing customers

What? Upsell. You now have tonnes of useable data about these customers, so use it! Do they need accessories for what they recently bought? Do they want a monthly subscription, or sign up to make a monthly donation?


It can’t be that easy, right?

What happens when a single user falls into multiple categories? You need to sanitise your audiences, otherwise they’re going to receive mixed messages and your campaign gets diluted. Use negative audiences (exclusions). For example, website visitors get excluded from the interest audience.

Your audience with interests may (in fact, will) not to convert initially. But they’re at the top of the funnel so don’t worry – the value here is in moving them along the funnel.


Now, let’s take the next step…

In Google Analytics create an audience of users coming from Facebook.

From Analytics we can see how many pages they viewed, their device, which pages they were interested in & their location. The combined power of Facebook and Google Analytics makes for some pretty powerful audience targeting.

There’s a whole load of uses for these lists of users visiting from Facebook. Here are a few Kenya & Zoran mentioned;

  1. AdWords RLSA campaign (you could be as overt as saying ‘seen us on FB?’ in your ad copy)
  2. A YouTube pre-roll campaign
  3. AdWords DSA campaign 

Next up is AdWords audience insights. Affinity & in-market audiences can sometimes seem a little crazy. (Who knew that people who buy health foods alsolove Scandinavian crime drama?) Okay, so that was my personal example – but why not try it out?

The speakers gave an example of a campaign they’d run for a popular brand of nappies. From AdWords audience insights they found the audience of Mum’s they’d been targeting had an affinity to skiing and Spanish music, so they incorporated this into their interest & demographic targeting. The result was an increase in clickthrough rate and relevance score, leading to a 50% reduction in cost-per-click and so double the website clicks for their budget!


The Key Takeaways?

  1. Don’t think of Facebook as a single-campaign platform. It’s all about that funnel.
  2. And the same applies to Facebook audiences. Alone they’re okay, but when combined with other metrics and other channels, they pretty damn great.
  3. Go easy on us social media marketers when it comes to attribution models. Facebook is not for the overnight win, it’s a journey from initial awareness to creating loyal customers that will visit the checkout again and again.